Campus Eats: Your Guide to Dining at GCU

When you’re moving out for the first time on your own, you may feel intimidated. You have to do your own laundry, keep your dorm room clean and find your own meals. Fortunately, Grand Canyon University has made it easy to grab yummy meals every day of the week! We offer delicious dining options in our Student Union, Thunder Alley and around campus, plus a variety of meal plans to help make campus dining even easier. You won’t have to worry about heading off campus to find your next meal–we’ve brought some of the most popular eateries in the country right here to you:

The Grill 360

Conveniently located on the first floor of the Student Union, The Grill 360 is the place to go when your hunger is out of control. This all-you-can-eat cafeteria features a Mongolian Wok-style station, pizza station, salad bar, dessert station and more. 


On the second floor of the Student Union, our Starbucks is one of the largest in the United States. You can enjoy all of Starbucks regular menu as well as your seasonal favorites, from pumpkin spice lattes in the fall to peppermint hot chocolates in the winter. 


Who doesn’t love chicken? Our campus Chick-fil-A offers all of the classic menu items, including chicken sandwiches, chicken nuggets, waffle fries and salads.

Subway/Chick.fil.a Grand OpeningSubway

Enjoy fresh sandwiches and veggies every day of the week at our campus Subway. They serve up all of your favorite sandwiches, customized with your favorite toppings!

Mein Bowl

Serving up meat and veggie dishes, Mein Bowl offers flavorful Asian cuisine. They also have a sushi bar with a selection of fresh Japanese-style items.

Zoyo Neighborhood Yogurt

Enjoying a cup of frozen yogurt is the perfect way to stay cool during a hot Phoenix summer! Fill your cup with the flavors of your choice and add toppings to customize your treat.

Other Dining Options

GCU also offers a few more options around campus, including Simply To Go and Late Night Grill in Thunder Alley, a Concession Stand in GCU Arena and a Lopes Mart in Chaparral Hall. Wherever you are on campus, it’s easy to pick up a quick bite!

We also host Food Truck Days and Farmers’ Markets during the fall and spring semesters to offer you even more tasty choices. Some of our recent food trucks have included Mojo Bowl, Carh’s Kitchen, Aioli Burger, Waffle Crush, Grilled Cheese Truck and more!

Meal Plans

For fall 2014, GCU is also offering a variety of weekly and block plans, making it easy to eat on campus in a way that works best for you. Our Weekly Plans give you a certain amount of meal swipes per week, while our Block Plans give you a certain number of meals per semester.

Check out to learn more about our dining options and which meal plan may work best for you.


New Program at GCU: Bachelor of Arts in Worship Arts

Are you the next Christian rock star? Grand Canyon University is proud to announce the launch of the Bachelor of Arts in Worship Arts through the College of Theology. The BA in Worship Arts is designed to prepare students for careers in contemporary worship ministry and the Christian music industry. The program offers students a strong biblical and theological foundation as well as knowledge in worship leadership, musical performance, production and business management. Bart Millard, the lead singer of MercyMe, has been a consultant.

This program will launch in fall 2014 on our ground campus only and offers students a unique opportunity to connect with the worship industry on both a local level and on a more global scale. It carries out the College of Theology’s mission to help students find their purpose in Christ and features four emphases to help students gain the education they need to succeed in their chosen path:

  • Digital MediaIs your dream job making rock stars look good on TV? Students prepare for a career in visual media aspects of worship ministry (videographer, audio mixer, motion graphics artist, video editor) by learning the technical and visual storytelling skills necessary to produce high-quality video, graphics and audio for short- or long-format video productions.
  • Worship Management – Do you want to manage the talent? Students prepare for careers in planning, organizing, marketing and managing worship ministry for both large and small ministries as well as touring operations for Christian music artists. This program is designed to equip students with competencies necessary for project management, business planning, budget development and control, talent management and event promotion.
  • Worship MinistrySo, you’re a star in the making. With this degree, students gain the skills necessary for a career in local worship ministry by participating in a variety of worship-related ensembles throughout their degree and completing a capstone internship under the supervision of experienced worship leaders in local ministry settings.
  • Worship ProductionGo behind the scenes of Christian rock concerts! Students prepare for a career in the production aspects of worship ministry, including lighting, production design and sound recording. Coursework emphasizes contemporary worship lighting on numerous platforms, scenic design and technical direction, OSHA regulations regarding safety as well as practical sound recording and reinforcement techniques.

For more information about this program, please visit or contact an admissions representative at 800-800-9776.

* Grand Canyon University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. (800-621-7440;

For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program and other important information, please visit our website at Please note, not all GCU programs are available in all states and in all learning modalities. Program availability is contingent on student enrollment.


New Programs at GCU: Computer Science and Information Technology

GCU is on the rise, adding academic programs in emerging fields to already robust curricula representing some of the fastest-growing career paths in the country. We emphasize individual attention and offer a dynamic learning environment for both traditional undergraduate students and working professionals.

In fall 2014, we will launch the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and the Bachelor of Science in Information Technology on our ground campus only. Each of these new programs features three emphases to help students find their purpose and gain the education they need to succeed in their chosen path.

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science

This program prepares students to design, install, maintain and operate computer systems as well as perform programming and systems analysis.

Emphases include:

  • Big Data and Analytics – Students explore some of the major problems and trends associated with the storage of huge volumes of data.
  • Game and Simulation Development – Students apply theoretical concepts of computing and simulation in order to create applications for entertainment, education or scientific visualization.
  • Business Entrepreneurship –Students learn how to effectively build and leverage networks in order to identify and grow business opportunities and sustain long-term relationships.

Bachelor of Science in Information Technology

This program provides students with the knowledge and practical, hands-on expertise needed to care for both an organization’s information technology infrastructure and the people who use it.

Emphases include:

  • Health IT– Students acquire an understanding of the value of health informatics as well as how it can reduce health care costs and increase access.
  • Technology Innovation – Students learn to recognize and evaluate opportunities for technical innovations that can lead to commercial products.
  • Business Entrepreneurship – Students explore the foundation for business leaders and innovators of new technologies and business processes. This program provides preparation in problem-solving using technology.

For more information about these programs, please visit or contact an admissions representative at 800-800-9776.

* Grand Canyon University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. (800-621-7440;

For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program and other important information, please visit our website at Please note, not all GCU programs are available in all states and in all learning modalities. Program availability is contingent on student enrollment.


GCU Summer Camps

School is drawing to a close. Lockers are being cleaned out. Those last-minute pop quizzes are a thing of the past (for now). The pool is calling your name. All of this can only mean one thing—it’s summertime.

Summer is for recharging your batteries. But if you’re a soon-to-be college student, it’s also a great time to devote yourself to a passion. If that passion happens to be for the performing arts, consider a Grand Canyon University summer camp. The College of Fine Arts and Production is offering two camps on campus this summer for the dancers and film buffs in all of us.

GCU Summer Dance Intensive

Weekdays, June 2-13, 2014

9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Exalt in dance at GCU! Kick off your summer break by lifting up your dance practice at this two-week-long day camp. Learn from accomplished instructors in GCU’s growing dance department and sample the following courses:

  • Jazz
  • Ballet
  • Contemporary
  • Composition14COF015-SummerDanceIntensive-FLY_FINAL
  • Health for Dancers (Pilates, Conditioning & Nutrition)

Students will also get to know the GCU campus and our Bachelor of Arts in Dance Education program.

Family and friends are invited to a demonstration event Friday, June 13 at 3 p.m. in Ethington Theatre. Demonstration presented by students participating in both weeks.

WHO: Ages 12-18 with some previous dance experience


Both Weeks, June 2 – 13: $315

Week 1, June 2 – 6: $185

Week 2, June 9 – 13: $185

Daily Drop in Rate: $45

*Covers all materials and lunch

To RSVP and for more information, visit

GCU Zombie Film Camp

July 23-27, 2014


Grand Canyon University is getting zombified this summer. Learn about film-making, special effects makeup and acting. Students will mash it all together to make an original cult classic zombie film.

Participants will stay overnight in one of our suite-style residence halls and get to know our Bachelor of Arts in Digital Film program.

Parents are invited to a screening of the final product Friday, June 27 at 11 a.m.

WHO: High school students

COST: $290 for the week (covers all materials, meals and a stay in the dorms)

To RSVP and for more information, visit



‘Lopes Faculty Profile: Dr. Kimberly LaPrade

Kim LaPradeDr. Kimberly LaPrade is the dean of the College of Education. She earned her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Capella University in 2008 and is a proud Grand Canyon University alum who received her M.Ed. in Secondary Education and B.A. in English/Sociology in 2000 and 1990, respectively. Dr. LaPrade’s research efforts focus on topics related to teacher leadership and aspects of teacher preparation, performance and assessment.

In addition, Dr. LaPrade serves on several committees and holds membership or volunteers in several professional and community associations, such as The Education Coalition, Soroptomist International of the Kachinas and the Valley of the Sun Children Advisory Council.

We asked Dr. LaPrade a couple of questions about the benefits of pursuing an education degree and the GCU experience:

What advice do you have for students who are interested in pursuing an education degree?

To pursue a job in education gives students a wonderful opportunity to serve others while living their faith. There is no more important job than educating our children and youth! If you want to be a teacher, remember:

  • All life experiences are “job interviews.”  Be professional in all you say and do.
  • Learning how to manage your time is a necessity as a teacher.  Begin now to set good time management habits.
  • Read professional education journals to enhance your own professional and pedagogical knowledge and to assist you in writing good scholarly papers.
  • Hone your leadership and teaching skills. Become involved in opportunities to volunteer in your community working with children/youth.

What would you like future students to know about GCU and the College of Education?

Here at GCU, we believe teaching is a calling, not just a job. We have over 60 years of history preparing educators to serve their communities. Also, given the high quality of our programs and faculty, we support our graduates of licensure programs during their first year of teaching or leading—this is known as the COE Promise.


Great Moments at GCU: 2013 Edition

Grand Canyon University continues to grow! Last year was a big one for all ‘Lopes as our campus continues to expand to make room for our growing traditional campus student population. We are truly blessed to have enthusiastic students and a great campus community.

To celebrate our year, here are some of our picks for the top moments of 2013:year-14

  • March 2013: Former Phoenix Suns star Dan Majerle is named as the new head coach of the ‘Lopes men’s basketball team. (Read More)
  • May 2013: GCU announces plans to add engineering and technology curriculum and programs for the 2014-15 academic year. (Read More)
  • June 2013: The ‘Lopes earn the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup for NCAA Division II for the second year in a row. (Read More)
  • July 2013: GCU officially announces plans to build an East Valley campus in Eastmark, a new community in Mesa. (Read More)
  • Fall 2013: Two new suite-style residence halls (Saguaro Hall and Chaparral Hall) open to help accommodate our growing student population.
  • Fall 2013: Enrollment records reach new highs, with approximately 8,200 on campus and over 50,000 online.
  • Fall 2013: GCU is named the #2 small company in America by Forbes magazine. (Read More)
  • September 2013: One of the largest Starbucks in the country opens in the newly renovated GCU Student Union. (Read More)
  • September 2013: Grand Canyon teams up with Alhambra High School to open the Learning Lounge, a free tutoring program for high school students. (Read More)
  • October 2013: GCU announces tuition will remain at $16,500 for the 2014-15 academic year. This is the sixth year in a row tuition has remained frozen at GCU. (Read More)

Thanks for another great year, ‘Lopes! We can’t wait to see what 2014 has in store for us!


The FAFSA Rundown

Understanding FAFSAWelcome to 2014! While compiling your list of New Year’s resolutions, keep a slot open for: Have My Student Fill Out the FAFSA–ASAP!

The FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid, will determine your expected family contribution, or the annual amount you’ll be expected to pay toward a college education. If the cost of attendance exceeds your expected contribution, you will be eligible for need-based loans and grants.

The 2014-2015 FAFSA became available January 1. The sooner you get started, the better–completing the FAFSA early will put your student will be at the head of the line for many of the first-come, first-served aid programs.

The application process sounds a lot more daunting than it actually is. It should take no more than half an hour to complete. The key is PREPARATION.

At Grand Canyon University, we’ve compiled a FAFSA checklist for filling out your application online. And remember, GCU’s admissions team is available to answer questions and help guide you through the process.

  • FILE YOUR TAXES FIRST: Grand Canyon University encourages you to complete and submit your 2013 taxes early. This will help ensure that your student receives the correct amount of aid for which he or she is eligible.
  • FREE IS KEY:  It shouldn’t cost you a penny to fill out the FAFSA—after all, the word “free” is right there in the name! If an outside company or website charges you a fee to help you fill out the application, you are not dealing with the official FAFSA website. Most, if not all, of the help you may need is available at
  • GET YOUR PIN:  Both you and your student will need to register for your own personal identification numbers, or PINs, in order to sign and submit the FAFSA. Get your PIN by visiting and providing a few pieces of identifying information, including your name, date of birth, Social Security number and address.
  • GATHER ALL NECESSARY FINANCIAL DOCUMENTS:  Depending on your family’s financial situation, you’ll need to collect the following information BEFORE filling out the application:
    • Student’s Social Security number and driver’s license number (if applicable)
    • Parent’s Social Security number (if your child is a dependent and you are signing with them)
    • Student’s alien registration number (if not a U.S. citizen)
    • Student and parent’s federal tax information and tax returns, including IRS W-2 information, along with any IRS 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ forms
    • Untaxed income records (e.g., child support, interest income, veteran benefits)
    • Bank and investment account statements, including savings/checking accounts balances and stocks/bonds
  • LIST YOUR COLLEGES:  The schools you list on your FAFSA will use your information to determine the types and amounts of financial aid for which your child is eligible, so it’s important to list all schools to which your student has applied. Each school has a unique code assigned to them that you’ll enter on your application. GCU’s SCHOOL CODE IS 001074.
  • UTILIZE THE DRT:  Save time and effort by using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool, or DRT, online. The DRT transfers data from your most current tax return (in this case, 2013).
  • SIGN & SUBMIT:  Sign the FAFSA with your and your child’s assigned PIN numbers. Once you see a confirmation page, you’ll know you’ve reached the end. Success!

NOW WHAT?  Once your FAFSA is submitted, the Office of Federal Student Aid at the U.S. Department of Education will send you a Student Aid Report, or SAR—a summary of the FAFSA data you submitted. Look this over to ensure no mistakes were made. Then, the schools listed on the application (and ultimately, those your child is accepted to) will individually calculate aid and send your son or daughter an electronic or paper “award offer” specifying how much money your student is eligible for in the form of grants, loans and work-study funds.

For more information on the difference between these forms of financial aid or the FAFSA, contact an admissions representative at 800-800-9776 or, or visit


The Value of a College Degree

GCU grads

The benefits of a college degree are many. By attending college, you will gain an invaluable education, not to mention learn the independence and basic socialization skills needed to function in the “real world.”

But what about the economic benefits? With the cost of a college education skyrocketing, it’s only natural to wonder whether it’s financially worth it.

Recent studies point to an overwhelming “Yes.” On the whole, people who have a postsecondary degree earn substantially more over their careers than those who do not.

According to a report from the State Higher Education Executive Officers (Dec. 2012) analyzing Census and U.S. education statistics, average earnings only go up as the degree level increases:


Degree Level

Median Annual Income

High School Diploma $29,423
Associate’s Degree $38,607
Bachelor’s Degree $50,360
Graduate Degree $68,064


College graduates don’t just earn substantially more than those who don’t have a higher degree, but they’re also more likely to have a job in the first place.

The following shows Bureau of Labor Statistics data from 2012:


Degree Level

Average Unemployment Rate

High School Diploma 8.3%
Associate’s Degree 6.2%
Bachelor’s Degree 4.5%
Graduate Degree 3.5%


Young professionals

At Grand Canyon University, we understand the importance of a college degree in today’s complex business world. With over 100 programs and concentrations for bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees, we offer well-rounded curricula designed to give students the hands-on applications needed to succeed in their chosen career paths.

GCU also recognizes that each student’s financial situation is unique. We offer viable financing solutions and generous scholarship opportunities to ensure everyone has access to an affordable, quality education.

For more information about Grand Canyon University’s degree programs or financial aid, please contact an admissions representative at (800) 800-9776 or

See just how valuable–and affordable–a degree from GCU can be.



Living On Campus: The Ultimate College Experience

Camelback Living RoomLiving on campus is one of the most exciting facets of college life. In addition to the convenience of being a quick walk away from all your classes, there’s no better way to meet new people and learn independence and responsibility. Simply put, campus living is an experience unlike any other.

At Grand Canyon University, approximately 4,000 students chose to live on campus in fall 2013—nearly half of our traditional student population! Freshmen housing includes Hegel Hall (all male), Canyon Hall (all female), Chaparral Hall (coed by floor) and Sedona Hall (coed by floor). Camelback Hall is used for overflow, if necessary. We also have several other residence halls on campus and a new apartment complex is slated to open for fall 2014.

All the dorms are suite-style, meanSedona Courtyarding you’ll share a bedroom with one or two roommates and a living room with two or three suitemates. Living with fellow freshmen will give you the benefit of living with your peers, surrounded by other students who are going through the same experiences and transitions as you during your first year at GCU.

At GCU, students are given a lot of freedom when picking out where they’d like to live on campus. Our Online Housing Application allows you to browse available housing areas and select which room you’d like to call home. You can also request to be someone’s roommate directly through the system, allowing you to decide who brings the mini fridge and who brings the posters ASAP.Camelback Girls Bedroom

Don’t miss out on the ultimate college experience of living on campus. You can’t reserve your dorm until you’ve enrolled so contact an admissions representative at 800-800-9776 or today to jumpstart the process!


New East Valley Campus Scheduled to Open in Fall 2015

Grand Canyon is expanding to the East Valley! GCU will open a gorgeous campus in Eastmark, a beautiful new development in east Mesa, in fall 2015.

Eastmark is a 3,200-acre community with approximately 700 home sites available from seven different builders. In addition to residential areas, the new community will feature retail businesses, recreational spaces and more. Its close proximity to Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport and several major freeways makes it an ideal location for a GCU expansion.

In fall 2015, GCU plans to open a 100-acre campus in the heart of the community that will eventually accommodate up to 10,000 students.

Here’s what you need to know about our upcoming campus in Eastmark:

  • Opening in fall 2015
  • Approximately 2,500 students in fall 2015, expected to eventually grow to 10,000 students
  • Two 80,000-square-foot classroom/lab buildings
  • Large Student Union with multiple dining facilities and a new library
  • 65,000-square-foot Recreation Center with 4,500 seats for Chapel services and other events
  • 1,000-bed apartment-style residence hall
  • Intramural and club sports

To learn more about our East Valley campus, call an admissions representative at 800-800-9776 or email today!

East Valley rendering 2 LARGE

East Valley rendering 3 LARGE